The key success for most brands has come from their way of identifying the customer needs and more importantly the their level of understanding and cognizance of the way their product is being used (not even considering the scenario of whether being used in the intended way)
History points out to several thousands of brilliant innovative products that is now down in the dumps, because the brands failed to understand how it was actually perceived or people find it complex enough to understand how to actually use it ,that they opt in for a simpler product.
A sparkling idea , from, HUL, the FMCG giants (once in a blue moon they do come up with smart ideas, believe me!) has questioned the entire long history of the way “Jams” were being packaged, designed and marketed .
After decades of research, Kisan Jam (a market leader in the “Jam” category in India), another radiant brand in the HUL portfolio, has realized that children, the main target segment for jams, are finding it difficult to take the jam out of the wide yet narrow necked bottle. Most of the spoons in the household do not go into the bottle and knives have to be used to take a scoop of jam. Obviously knives are a dangerous product to be used by small kids. Added to that ,the bottles are expensive, and is of no use to the customer after its finished.
Kisan Jams has now introduced the latest “Jam Squeeze”, where the product is packaged in the form of a tube, where all one needs to do is to squeeze the jam onto the plate or directly in the bread.
(They also have tied up with Disney to print several cartoon characters in the tubes to target young kids)
Simple, yet brilliant isn’t it?
Another prime example is Microsoft Vista. Microsoft spends thousands of dollars in understand the way users browse the interface and perform several operations. One thing, they largely found was Windows XP users found it difficult in searching for files in their computer using the find files option. Either it took a lot of time to search or it was complicated and most of the time the search returned with no results. People then migrated and installed the Google Desktop software which basically indexed the entire system, and with a press of few letters, all related files corresponding to the letters were displayed.
Vista, was immediately incorporated with an Indexing service in their start menu itself, that saved several minutes for users trying to find their old files
Another important change in Vista was their packaging. Windows XP earlier was released as a professional and Home edition.(99 % of the users ended up using the professional version only)
Vista is now packaged and sold in several variants such as Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate and Business. Their user segment clearly identified, targeted and positioned.Any advanced user might actually realize all these are the same. The only difference between a Premium and a Business is that in Premium, you get to play those small games like Chess, Pinball etc and while in a business you can’t.
But if one actually probes through the settings, one can find the same features in the Add Windows Components in the Control Panel. Be it a Fax Service in Vista Premium or a chess game in Vista Business, the customization is always available.
Yet people have a completely different perception for each of these variants.
My proposition is that, brands do not need to change their product altogether, if their sales or growth comes down. All they need to do is to identify the actually product usage method, change their packaging accordingly in a way that is easy to use, visually appealing and effective of all